OOPS! If you’re selling your home, don’t make these 10 mistakes!!
OOPS! If you’re selling your home, don’t make these 10 mistakes!!
Rich Schur, CAI, AMM, BAS, MPPPA, UCMA
Licensed Broker and Master Auctioneer. And usually a nice guy.
10. Incorrectly pricing your home. Clearly, if you underprice the home, you’ll leave money on the table. It could be lots of money. So, overestimating the value when you set the price is OK, right? No. If you're overpriced, some people move past yours to other properties that are either less expensive, or a better value for the price. Or even worse, your property won’t even be on their radar. Overpricing means you’ll need to drop the price. If you drop the price, people will see that as a sign to offer even less. To price your home correctly, you’ll need to understand the market and the comparable sales (something your broker should be providing).
9. Leaving your junk lying around. You get one first impression when a buyer walks thru your home. You don’t want that to be a negative impression. It costs you nothing to straighten up, and remove the clutter. A de-cluttered home looks more spacious, more inviting, and more valuable. Seriously, what would you think if you walked in a home and there were dirty socks on the couch, trash on the counter, and dirty dishes in the sink?
8. Leaving the place completely empty. Now some would argue that empty spaces make the home look bigger, and therefore a better value. Some would insist that buyers could better picture what their things will look like once they move in. Good arguments, but in reality, a bit of staging with the right pieces of furniture and some accents really make the home look more inviting. The right size furnishings and accessories create a better impression. Think about hiring a professional stager – you may see a significant return on your investment.
7. Hiding the flaws, or failing to disclose issues. Honestly, your buyers will find out the flaws. They’ll find out during the inspections, or they’ll find out once they move it. Disclosing a flaw means you’re being honest with buyers. The more honest you are with them, the more likely they will make you a fair offer. A flaw found during the inspection, that you didn’t disclose, could cause a buyer to walk and kill the contract. Think of the time and opportunity you’ve lost. Worse yet, they discover something later that you should have disclosed, but didn’t. Now we’re crossing over to fraud and the litigation that follows. Assume they will find out what’s wrong. If you tell them upfront, they are much less likely to consider it an “issue”. It is faster, smarter, and more advantageous to be upfront.
6. Don’t make it impossible for people to see the home! You’re looking at homes. House “A” says: 4”8 hour notice. Showing only between 2:00 and 3:00 PM. Leave your shoes at the door. Do not turn on any lights. No peanuts. Don’t park in our driveway. Don’t park in the street in front of the house.” House “B” says: “We’d appreciate an hour’s notice when possible. Anytime between 8:00 am and 7:00 pm. Please wipe your feet and turn out the lights”. Which would you rather go see? Your goal should be to make viewing your home as easy, and as delightful as possible. A few fresh-baked cookies on the kitchen counter go a long way (and makes the house smell good too).
5. Using bad photographs. Almost 50% of buyers begin their search on the Internet. That means they’re looking at photos. Making your home visually appealing at first glance in critical. You may not need to hire a professional photographer, but you had better use professional quality images. make sure you take plenty of them, with good light. Show the house and rooms from multiple angles. Don’t take pictures of your clutter and your mess. You have at best a few seconds to entice people with how awesome your home is. Bad photographs could easily make your home more difficult to sell, while high-quality pictures (and video) will make your home a showpiece.
4. Failing to make necessary repairs. This isn’t to say you need to remodel or upgrade, but you do need to patch that crack in the wall, replace the missing glass in a window, and stop the leak that’s running across the kitchen floor. A house that has defects, which appear to have been ignored, leads the buyers to think “what else is wrong”. At minimum, you’ll end up with a lower offer or demands for repairs as part of the offer. Worse case? They will simply look elsewhere.
3. Not looking for the win-win. Your buyers want to buy your house. You want to sell your house. They provide what they think is fair offer. Remember, they are trying to save money while you’re trying to make money. Don’t get hung up on the minutia. There will be some negotiations back and forth, even if you’re in a hot market. You may have to offer to replace a broken door, or cover some of the closing costs, and perhaps replace some hideous worn carpet (or at least offer a small credit). You might have to make some level of concession. Digging in your heels could cost you the sale. Do you want to lose a $350,000 sale contract because you’re not willing to replace a $50 faucet? Ego can be a dangerous thing. A little flexibility could save you the sale, and all of the associated time, money and stress that will come from losing a buyer.
2. Failing to understand the closing process. Though it varies from state to state, you’ll have lots of things that need to be done, and paid for, in order to close on a home. You should know these things, and their associated costs, before you list the house. For example, will your deed, survey, and closing fees be paid by the buyer (not likely), or can you split some of those costs? Are you looking at $1,000 or $7,500. These fees can add up, and you’ll need to consider them as you price your home. The timelines to close can be complex. Understand that buyers will likely have different deadlines for applying for and obtaining loans, getting an appraisal, survey, inspection, and other things that they will use to confirm or reject the deal. It takes time to obtain insurance, and for the title company (or attorney) to schedule the close. Be prepared for this process to take at least 30 days, and in many cases 45 days. If you fail to calculate these costs and the time involved, selling your home will be a miserable experience.
1. And of course, NOT hiring a professional. Sure, you can sell it yourself. And while you’re at it, you can try to calculate a market analysis, and get the sale posted on dozens (if not hundreds) of syndicated websites. You can make sure you’re not violating any housing discrimination laws. You can mage the showing schedule, figure out the sales contracts and state-required disclosure forms, and well, so much more. A professional broker has a responsibility to protect you during this process. They will guide you through the complexities of the transaction. They have access to advertise your home in ways you never could. Yes, a professional will cost you a little money. But odds are, they’ll help you command a much higher price, much quicker. It really makes no sense to go it alone. If you’re not sure, come talk to us. We don’t ever charge for a consultation. In fact, we’ll even give you a market analysis – just ask. If you don’t like what you hear, don’t hire us. But we’re pretty sure you’ll like what you hear.
At the Schur Success Group, we’re part of the United Country Real Estate family, in the business since 1925. We not only can help you sell you home, anywhere in the country, but we can help you as you search for your new home. Call us. Really. No charge. No obligation. We’ll even throw in some coffee for you. Rich is the Chief Operating Officer for the Schur Success Group, a real estate and auction company based in Monument, Colorado. Rich is a licensed broker, and Champion and Master Auctioneer. Rich can be reached at (719) 667-1000, (719) 210-6230, or at Rich@SchurSuccessGroup.com
United Country –Schur Success team is a boutique office, and the small staff works as a team to deliver the results our clients expect and deserve.